Russian MPs urge Putin to recognise People's Republics of Donetsk and Luhansk

On Wednesday, January 19, members of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, led by party leader Gennady Zyuganov, submitted a bill to the State Duma appealing to Russian President Vladimir Putin to recognize the self-proclaimed People's Republic of Donetsk and People's Republic of Luhansk. The document was published on the database of electronic documents of the State Duma.

In addition, the MPs ask the head of state to consider holding talks with the leadership of the breakaway republics as soon as possible to create a legal basis for interstate relations to regulate all aspects of cooperation and mutual assistance, including security issues.

As the authors of the appeal note, the current authorities of Ukraine have become intolerant of the historically established norms of life, nor do they accept the will and religion of those residing in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, having forced residents of individual regions to hold a referendum in May 2014 to vote for their self-identification.

The residents of the unrecognized republics have been living under shellfire for eight years, whereas the Ukrainian authorities do not comply with the Minsk agreements designed to resolve the crisis in Donbass, the MPs said. Russia has taken a number of measures to provide humanitarian assistance to Donetsk and Luhansk. Democratic bodies and states with all attributes of legitimate power have been built in the republics, they added.

If Russia recognises the republics, it will create grounds to guarantee security and protect their peoples against external threats and genocide. It will also strengthen international peace and regional stability in accordance with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations. To crown it all, Russia's move to recognise the breakaway republics will initiate the international recognition of the territories, members of the Communist Party believe.

Back in early December, Kremlin's official spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that it was still difficult to predict prospects for the recognition of the breakaway republics. According to Peskov, the process to resolve the intra-Ukrainian conflict is being dragged out. It reaches an impasse in many aspects, Peskov added.

Yury Afonin, First Deputy Chairman of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, said in an interview with RIA Novosti that the issue with the self-proclaimed republics of Donbass needs to be resolved already now. In his opinion, the majority of Russians and residents of the people's republics of Donetsk and Luhansk will support the decision on their recognition.

At the same time, first deputy head of the International Committee of the Federation Council, Vladimir Dzhabarov, commenting on the appeal from the Communist Party, said that the question of recognition was a prerogative of those responsible for Russia's foreign policy. It is President who is responsible for foreign policy in the first place, while the Ministry for Foreign Affairs serves as an instrument for the implementation of this policy.

In turn, Andrey Klimov, the head of the Federation Council Commission for the Protection of State Sovereignty, said that the official position of the Kremlin has long been known and lies strictly in the international legal field. According to him, such issues are regulated by laws, and shall not appear as subjects of political PR games.

In early January, Denis Pushilin, the head of the People's Republic of Donetsk said that Kiev's failure to comply with the Minsk agreements would allow Donbass to determine its future outside Ukraine independently. Pushilin's statement came as a comment to Putin's remarks, who earlier said that it was up to the people of Donbass to determine their own future.

According to Pushilin, Donbass has two options:

  1. Self-identification within Ukraine and
  2. Self-identification outside Ukraine.

"Taking into account the fact that Ukraine does not use the chance that it was given through the Minsk agreements, the republics have an opportunity to demand self-identification outside the state of Ukraine,” Pushilin said.

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